June 28, 2018:

Caitlin and Stephanie do some catching up.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Lunchtime. Class got out early because 4th of July was coming up. So, Stephanie found herself with a little bit more time to spare before she was needed at her internship in New York. A call to a friend, one she hadn't talked to in ages, and arrangements to meet at a coffe shop for lunch were made.

Dressed for work, Stephanie steps into the coffee shop in her best little powersuit. Today, it's a soft heather grey blazer and slacks combination. Simple chocolate brown kitten heel pumps don't add much to her height at all, and the jewel toned teal blouse under the jacket is tucked into her slacks. A simple gold chain adorns her throat and her hair is pulled up with a messy bun with a french brain as a base. The make up is subtle but fresh, making her look more awake than she wants to admit she feels.

As Stephanie walks in, she scans the the interior, as if just looking for a friend. She is, but she's almost making note of exit and entrance points, weaknesses and the like. You can take the girl out of the batsuit…


Caitlin's one of those people who is chronically late by nature. But she compensates by planning heavy margins of error for everything she does, particularly where meetings and appointments are. So she's even earlier than Stephanie, and waves (a little un-necessarily) from her seat near the back wall of the cafe. She's dressed for work as well, with a smart blue blazer and matching knee-length skirt. Her hair's pulled back into a businesslike ponytail and her bangs carefully even.

"Hey Stephanie," she says, flashing a dimple-cheeked smile and getting to her feet. She smooths out her jacket and offers Stephanie a quick hug. "Good timing, I just got here," she tells the other woman. "D'you want some coffee or something to eat?" she offers.


Stephanie had spotted Caitlin, but slid her gaze over the other woman to finish her assessment of the coffee shop. That complete, and Caitlin waving hugely, Stephanie returns her gaze to her friend and smiles warmly. The hug is returned as she gets to the table.

"Sorry You've beedn waiting," Stephanie snarks lightly, grinning with warmth. She knows her friend. If she's here, she's here a little early, because otherwise, she'd be late.

"Both, actually. Did you order already? I haven't been here in a while… do you still order at the counter?" Stephanie says, waiting to sit until she's sure she won't need to just get back up again.


"Yeah, but they'll bring it to the table when you're ready," Caitlin assures Stephanie. She finds her seat and waits for Stephanie to retrieve her snacks, and starts tidying up the paperwork that was set out next to her. She's not exactly making it a state secret— it looks like mostly resumes, business cards, and employment applications. The documents all get settled into a leather satchel roughly the size of an attache case, and she sets the bag on the floor next to her low-heeled black shoes.

When Stephanie returns, Caitlin flashes a smile up at her friend. "So what's new and exciting?" she inquires, dumping a little more cream into her adulterated coffee. "Feels like we haven't caught up face to face in a while."


Small sandwich and coffee secured, Stephanie settles across the table from Caitlin, noting the paperwork that was there is now put away.

"New and exciting. What time of day are we talking about again?" Stephanie quips lightly, voice kept to a low conversational hum meant just for their table.

"New… I got kissed by a girl. Exciting… I hit a drug gang in the city. New AND exciting… upgrades." There. Covers anything without covering anything AND lets Caitlin pick the topic of conversation, mostly.

"Oh, I'm working for a New York Law Firm. Was I doing that the last time we talked? I don't remember any more."


Caitlin pinks a little on her high cheekbones, but finds herself grinning at Stephanie's nonchalant summation all the same. "Goodness, you've been busy," she remarks, a little wryly. "I'm glad to hear things are staying interesting though!"

The waiter walks over with their food and Caitlin accepts a plate with four sticky buns on it, along with a fork and napkins. She starts tearing into them immediately, though the utensil is at least keeping her from trying to unhinge her jaw and eat the snack in a few quick bites. "You texted me the other day about your job, but there weren't a lotta details," Caitlin tells Stephanie. She hooks one ankle under the other and tucks her feet under her chair so she doesn't kick or trip anyone. "I wasn't sure if you were doing a lawyer thing, or a public defender, or what. How do you like the new job so far?"


"Murdock and Nelson. Mostly it's been transcription into his braille printer and keeping files organized. A few simple investigations for him. Nothing really major," she comments, having batling'd that one case because it was effecting a friend and it got personal. Plus, corrupt civil servant never sits well with the Bat Family. So far, neither partner seem to have found anything amiss with the level of detail this little blonde intern from Gotham managed to find, and Stephanie has been happily and quietly working the afternoons away.

"Yeah, sorry about that. Things got…busy," she explains after a more reasonable bite than Caitlin was taking. But then, Stephanie didn't have a super metabolism.

"But so far, things are nice. Both of the lawyers in that firm are really nice guys, thoughtful, and really wanna help people, you know? They're really good at what they do, and I'm learning a lot," she says before sipping her coffee. Sugary, sweet, not at all good for a person. It's her splurge. Because if she didn't have SOMETHING, she'd likely end up ditching the hero schtik for the false villian one that gets brought ou tto play when she needs to infiltrate the underground. Thank God she hasn't had to do THAT in a while!


"Murdock. I think— oh, yeah, he's that blind lawyer, right?" Caitlin inquires, nodding along with Stephanie's explanation. "I've seen their ads on the subway. I'm glad that's working out for you. He's … gosh, he's in Harlem, isn't he?" She wrinkles her nose. "Gosh, that's gotta be a pain to do that commute. I remember when I was going from Metropolis to the Baxter Institute, that was like… four trains and a bus to get there on time," she remarks, wryly.

"Are you thinking about applying for law school, then?" she inquires. "I mean, you'd make a good lawyer— you're smart and well-organized. Can you go to law school with a criminal justice degree? I mean" she frowns, words moving a little faster than her train of thought "like, I know there is a pre-law program, but that's like, not mandatory, right? You don't *have* to be pre-law, but it helps. You shouldn't need to get an entirely new degree."

"Though I guess, you can transfer credits, and get a dual major, or something…"


"Hell's Kitchen, actually," Stephanie corrects with a gentle smile, but she's nodding at the commute. It's tough, but she manages. Gives her time to audio-book study.

"I'm working on law school, actually. Bar exams are getting closer and closer with every class. I'm trying relaly hard not to think about them yet. Which is so weird. I'm completely okay jumping off my skycycle at several hundred feet up with nothing but a cape and armor on, but the idea of taking a test?" Stephanie shakes her head, trying to dispell the uncomfortable nervous surge that flooded her in that moment.

"It's pre-law. Criminal justice classes are a part of it. I finished my pre-law last year and got into the Law prgram at Gotham U right after, so…" Caitlin's rambling had her giggling and moving to interrupt with her explanation to help out.


"Yeah, how does that work?" Caitlin inquires of Stephanie, unperturbed by the interjection. The big ginger is a little notorious for hijacking conversations with her ramblings. "Like— I can't advertise myself as an engineer until I pass the PEO exams. Which— be-tee-dubs, next week. Fingers crossed," she says, twining index and middle fingers together and glancing skywards.

"So would you do your bar exams /before/ starting law school, or afterwards? I've never been super clear on it," she admits. "I don't know how exclusive the whole situation is on the law side. Engineers can get *really* pissy about it if you aren't a PE, though," she explains, tearing into her second cinnabun. "Like, in some states you can be fined for acting as an engineer if you're not registered with the state board of engineering.'


Lots of questions to answer, but first, Stephanie needs to join in the sisterhood of the crossed fingers.

"Oooh, good luck!" teh blonde squeels softly with a happy and anxious little bounce for her friend. another bite.

"I'm technicially an intern paralegal. So i'm not practicing. I'm learning. And the Bar happens at after I get my DDC… No confirmation of degree, no bar exams. So, soon as I finish my last class, I get to start preparing for that test. And honestly, right now, I feel like I'd rather be getting ready to face off with the Clown that think about taking that exam."


Caitlin's lips pull in differnt directions, a sympathic sneer of distress. "Urf. Gosh, right?" she says, rhetorically. "I've been studying like crazy and trying to get study guides. It's this weird sort of thing where engineers don't want just anyone to pass, but they want to help people not fail. If that makes sense," she says, rolling her eyes expressively.

"On top of that, job hunting. Starr Labs is going through a restructure and Karen told me I need to start building my resume up a bit more if I want to ever start my own business. We'll see how it goes, and she gave me a really good severance package so I'm like, not just twisting in the wind as far as rent goes."

She laughs, eating the last of her third cinnabun. "But I mean, thank goodness for the League's cantina. I can get two big meals a day there and they don't mind if I take home extra protein shakes. I'd be broke in a week otherwise."


Stephanie nods, because this is the life of a hero in college. Exams and tests are more daunting than facing crazed super villians. Sandwich half done, Stephanie dabs at her lips after another coffee sip.

"I'm glad to hear she's taking care of you. That sounds really wonderful. And yeah. I try to get sandwiches at base as often as I can," she chuckles with fellow-feeling, blue-green eyes sliding about.


"Karen's awesome," Caitlin says, sincere praise in her voice. "She really taught me a lot about running a company while I was assisting for her. I mean, I'm an engineer— that's what I wanna do, is build stuff. But if y' don't sit through some boring board meetings and get out there to shake hands and get dinner with clients, you'll never sell anything. Engineers are kinda notoriously bad at running businesses," she admits.

"We'll see about it. How's the, uh, night job going?" she inquires, eyes flickering left and right. Caitlin's about as capable of duplicity as a labrador who just stole a snack off the counter. "You mentioned something about, uh, … upgrades?"


Closing in on finishing her sandwich, Stephanie chuckles at Caitlin's assessment of Engineer social skills. Sipping her coffe, she follows Caitlin's eyes about, and then grins slyly.

"Going well. And oh yes.. the upgrades," she replies, lowering her voice but otherwise seeming like this is just a normal conversation.

"Better armor with the same flexibility, advanved AR in my HUD, better integration overall on my systems, and a voice thingie. I sound all growlly now!"


"The growly thing /is/ important," Caitlin agrees, her serious tone belied by a sparkle in her green eyes. "Intimidation is a crucial skill for anyone dealing with criminal elements." She sighs. "I should get a growly thing. Be all Darth Caitlin. I'm about as intimidating as a telephone pole," she says, before laughing merrily at her own self-deprecation.

"I'd love to take a look at the HUD sometime. I've got this theory about the chipset engineering and I really want to to see if I'm right about the voltage regulators," she says, with a chirping sort of excitement. "I figure, if B— your boss came up with it, it's gotta be a sold concept."


"Caitlin… You ARE the telephone pole," Stephanie deadpans. Her eyes twinkle though and one corne rof her mouth twitchs upwards. She knows that Caitlin is that Pit Bull, where the sign reads Beward of Dog, but really it's because said doggo will kill you with love and smother you with doggokisses.

"Take apart my cowl? Over my dead body… It was an almost birthday present. In that he hadn't gotten me anything yet and it was too far away to be Christmas, so… that's what I'm going with and you are not dissecting it, thank you very much," Stephanie quips in a mock huff while pushing the last bt of her sandwich to Caitlin to finish. Stephanie's eyes were bigger than her stomach.


"Rats," Caitlin says. She accepts the sandwich without missing a beat, her own little four pack of cinnabuns already reduced to a few crumbs she was pushing around with a fingertip. "I guess it was worth a shot," she remarks.

"I should try and figure it out myself at some point. A HUD would be super useful," she remarks. "Instead of whipping my phone out and using it to check my GPS and text messages. Would be handy for a lot of stuff." She chews the inside of her cheek, eyes glazing as she thinks about it. With two bites, she destroys the remainder of Stephanie's snack. "Mm, like… a small laser emitter playing against a photoactive transparent screen?" she muses. "That could do it. Or— ooh, what about a contact lens, and the emitter is located next to the eye? That's a thought," she mumbles.

Realizing she's lapsed into tech speak, she glances at Stephanie and laughs. "Gosh, sorry. Got off on a tangent there. I'm glad the new gear is working for ya. You deserve it."


Stephanie sips at her coffee, grinning as Caitlin lapses into technobabble. She waits through it, not bothered by the fact that she's not really following it much at all. She is, however, counting how long it takes for Caitlin to catch herself, and a giggle bubbles up when she does.

"Fifteen seconds. New personal record for you there," comments the blonde on one of the final sips on her drink.

"It was so good to see you again."


Caitlin pulls a face at Stephanie, but laughs a second later anyway. It's a fair call. "Meanie," she says. She gets to her feet and offers Stephanie a warm hug. "It's so good to see you smiling and hear that life's going well," she assures the blonde vigilante. "You really deserve it. Let's do this again soon, huh?" she says, wiggling fingers at the table. She picks up her satchel and loops the carry strap over her shoulder, purse-style. "I mean, life can't be *all* studying, work, and … uh, side jobs."


Stephanie steps into the embrace, feeling more relaxed than she has in a while.

"Thanks, Cait. It feels good to smile again," she says, sighing lightly and stepping back a bit.

"Yes. let's do this more often. I mean it," she says, blushing faintly.

"No, it really can't. Thanks again. I'll call you later. See about maybe… a girl's night?"


"I'll call up Cassie and we'll make it happen," Caitlin assures Stephanie. "Heck maybe we can even rope Kori and Rachel into it, huh?" she says. Her lips quirk into a grin. "I mean, stranger things have happened."

She gives Stephanie's hands one more quick squeeze, smiling fondly, then mouths a 'goodbye!' with a warm smile before she heads out the other door.

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